The San Francisco 49ers brain trust of John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan expressed a lot of excitement when they were able to move into the back end of the first round to grab Reuben Foster back in April. He’s a big-hitter who can get around the field with ease. He slipped due to concerns about his shoulder, a failed drug test, and general maturity questions.
Foster did not take part in full team drills at the offseason workout program, instead focusing on individual work as he rehabbed his shoulder. We have repeatedly heard from the 49ers that Foster is making good progress and should be ready for the start of training camp. On Wednesday, Shanahan further emphasized that during an appearance on the Simms & Lefkoe podcast.
“Yea, he’s full going. We’ve been on vacation here the past month, and I know he’s been staying in town and rehabbing this whole time. I’m gonna get back in the office on Monday, we’re gonna get going. And he’s supposed to be full go when we start. Now, we’ll look at his physical when we get back, but they’ve been letting that shoulder heal, and they say he’ll be able to take hits once we start training camp. So, staying optimistic about it, and we’ll see how it goes.”
If Foster’s progress keeps up and he is on the field for the start of the season, the 49ers will have a heck of a weapon in their linebacker corps. Shanahan talked about how excited he is, and how fast and big Foster plays the game. He mentioned that Foster’s highlights are the first his 7-year old son, Carter, has watched from start to finish. Kyle has not pushed football on his son, who currently prefers lizards and snakes. But when watching Foster’s highlights, Carter offered up a great comparison.
“I always laugh because my son is seven and I haven’t really gotten him into football — he doesn’t watch it much, he’s more into snakes and lizards and stuff like that — he had Reuben Foster sign his cast, because he broke his arm a few weeks ago on the monkey bars, and I asked him when we got in the car, ‘Hey Carter, you wanna watch highlights on that guy?’ He said alright, so I … found some highlights on him, and it’s the first time I’ve watched him finish highlights from beginning to end, and there’s like six minutes of them. I go, ‘Man, you really like that, huh?’ And he goes, ‘Yea!’ I go, ‘Why’d you like it?’ He goes, ‘That guy plays like the Waterboy.’ Because he hits so hard, and he was exactly right. That’s what Reuben plays like. He is running around, trying to hit people, playing at a different speed. That’s just someone, I know John and myself really wanted a part of our team.”
I’d like to think most of us have seen The Waterboy, but in case you somehow haven’t seen it, here are some highlights. I don’t know if that will stick as a nickname, but it’s certainly a good starting point.